The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Centre for failing to implement its February 16-order of increasing the share of Cauvery river water for Karnataka and reducing it for Tamil Nadu. The top court also rebuked the government for missing the deadline to file a draft on the Cauvery management scheme and asked it to submit the same by May 3, the date for next hearing.
The court was hearing the Centre’s plea seeking clarification on the setting up of the scheme and distribution of water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud asked the Centre to formulate the draft in pursuance of its 465-page judgment on the decades-old water dispute.
The bench also said that the judgment on the dispute was made keeping in mind the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).
The court had given the Centre six weeks to frame the scheme on the verdict. The Centre, however, had sought a three-month extension in the wake of the Karnataka Assembly Elections on May 12.
Besides the Centre, the court asked the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments to ensure law and order till the scheme was finalised.
In its verdict, SC had raised share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.